The School Services Department worked throughout the summer on school safety requirements related to Senate Bill 7030. Security Risk Assessments were completed at all schools as safety enhancements continue at each site. District-wide site safety standards have been updated detailing day-to-day expectations both procedurally and facility related. All security officers completed 144 hours of guardian training facilitated by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office as required by statute. As the year progresses, schools will be conducting required drills to include monthly active assailant drills.
In response to SB 7026, all St. Johns County schools are assigned a Youth Resource Deputy for emergency response situations, as well as facilitation of required training, drills, and participation on each schools Threat Assessment Team. These resource deputies have received extensive training in working with students and local schools. Multiple schools across the district will have an armed security officer present throughout the entirety of the school day. All students, faculty and staff will be participating in statutorily required active shooter drills each semester as well as viewing an active shooter response educational video facilitated by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.
Over the summer, the School Services Department has been busy processing hardship out-of-zone applications. As of the start of school on August 10, approximately 1,700 applications have been processed by the department.
In August, approximately 200 student-athletes and coaches attended a Pursuing Victory With Honor (PVWH) training at St. Augustine High School. PVWH is a collaborative effort to proactively build character in young people by teaching, enforcing, advocating and modeling the Six Pillars of Character – trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
Also at that training the Jeff Holt Coaches of the Year were honored. The Jeff Holt Coach of the Year is awarded to coaches who exemplify and support the Six Pillars of Character, serve as a leader and role model to our athletes, and who are a positive contributor to the district’s athletic programs overall pursuit for victory with honor.
The 2018 Coaches of the Year are:
- Bartram Trail High School – Scott Miller
- Creekside High School – Tracy DaCosta
- Pedro Menendez High School – Leah Nielsen
- Allen D. Nease High School – Michael Kypriss
- Ponte Vedra High School – Robin Mignerey
- St. Augustine High School – Brian Braddock
- Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind – James Crozier
- St. Joseph Academy – Sherri Nowatzki
The “Always Rules” are basic guidelines for students to follow to help them stay safe in emergency situations. View the “Always Rules” for elementary and secondary grade levels on our School Safety web page.
Eight senior athletes from district high schools were nominated for the David Maccaulay Mathis Memorial Pursuing Victory With Honor Award at the American Youth Character Awards held April 9. This award is sponsored by Upchurch, Bailey and Upchurch along with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Each of the eight Pursuing Victory With Honor nominees received a check for $400 and the winner, from Bartram Trail High School, received a $1,000 check.
This Award was founded in honor of David Macaulay Mathis who attended local public schools, graduating in 1999 from Allen D. Nease High School with an International Baccalaureate diploma. While at Nease, David was an outstanding cadet in the Naval JROTC program, a varsity basketball player and a member of the National Honor Society. David was an active member of Memorial Presbyterian Church. He graduated in 2003 from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with a degree in Political Science. David and Mary Kathryn Forbes and were married in 2004.
During Spring Break, the St. Johns County Sherriff’s Office conducted a training for its officers at Creekside High School focusing on “Active Shooter Response Scenarios.” St. Johns County School District administrators, board members, and district staff also had the opportunity to participate and observe this valuable safety and security exercise.
From Jan. 17 through Feb. 12, District employees may request that their child attend the school in which they work, or the school within closest proximity of their work location. Renewals of previously approved hardship requests will be accepted starting on January 23. Parents submitting first-time hardship requests and new employees hired for the 2018-2019 school year may submit their hardship requests starting on March 20.
The School Services Department has established a Pursuing Victory with Honor Student-Athlete Advisory Council. This Council will meet bi-monthly with the Senior Director of School Services to discuss current trends and issues in high school athletics, participate in a book study, and look at student based leadership opportunities within our current schools. The first meeting kicked off in September.
The Athletic Leadership Council students from Pedro Menendez High School football, cheer, and volleyball teams participated in the first Falcon Pride Patrol. These students went to W.D. Hartley, Otis Mason, Osceola, and South Woods elementary schools to greet the young students as they arrived at school. It was a great experience had by all.
Click the play button on the video below to catch a glimpse of this great event.